Today marks the annual celebration of Lord Krishna’s lifting Govardhana Hill to protect the residents of Vrindavana from the wrath of Indra. Typically devotees prepare varieties of foodstuff with grain and ghee (like rice, dhal, halva, pakora, puri etc.) and all kinds of milk preparations (such as sweet rice, rabri, sweetballs, sandesha, rasagulla and laddu). The food is stacked like a small mountain and offered to the Lord. Then it is distributed to everyone.
Of all the devotees, this Govardhana Hill is the best! O my friends, this hill supplies Krishna and Balarama, along with Their calves, cows and cowherd friends, with all kinds of necessities: water for drinking, very soft grass, caves, fruits, flowers and vegetables. In this way the hill offers respects to the Lord. Being touched by the lotus feet of Krishna and Balarama, Govardhana Hill appears very jubilant. (Srimad Bhagavatam 10.21.18)
Devotees also worship the cows on the day of Govardhana Puja. Krishna is known as Gopala – the protector of cows. There is also a prayer in Vishnu Purana (1.19.65) that states: namo brahmanya-devaya go-brahmana-hitaya ca. Here Krishna is described as the well-wisher of the cows and the brahmanas. The cows are decorated and fed well. Keeping the cows in front, devotees circumambulate the Govardhana Hill.
There is a misconception that the Krsna consciousness movement represents Hinduism. Krsna consciousness is in no way a faith or religion that seeks to defeat other faiths or religions. Rather, it is an essential cultural movement for the entire human society and does not consider any particular sectarian faith. This cultural movement is especially meant to educate people in how they can love God.
Whatever we say we say to everyone. It doesn’t matter what is his age. Krishna Consciousness teaching does not depend on the age. It is the eternal platform of the soul. This is the meaning of transcendental; that is is beyond any consideration of material qualifications such as age or intelligence. Just like thunder in the sky does not need any explanation to any old person or to a young child, similarly, the transcendental sound vibration of Hare Krishna and preaching of Bhagavad-gita philosophy will act on everyone, regardless of whether or not they are understanding at first. When preaching you only repeat what you have heard from the disciplic succession and this will act. (Prabhupada letter to Prahladananda 5th October, 1969)
“Therefore, Krishna Consciousness is also a sort of fight; but not with rifles. Our weapon is kartals. In this age there is no need of fighting with rifles because the population is so poor that they are already killed by so many disturbances. They are short lived, poor in knowledge, slack in advancement of spiritual life, unfortunate, and embarrassed by so many miserable conditions of life; like war, famine pestilence, poverty and so on. So to kill these persons by rifle is like bringing a cannon for killing a mosquito. So Lord Chaitanya introduced this fighting principle of Sankirtan Movement to reclaim all the fallen souls, who consist of so-called philosophers, half-educated scientists, misguided educationists and a miscreant society. If you can consolidate a party of soldiers as described by you, chanting Hare Krishna Mantra and claiming everyone of them to Krishna Consciousness, that will be a glorious task, and you have all of my good wishes for you for this purpose.”
(Srila Prabhupada letter to disciple, August 3, 1969)
Remembrance of Kṛṣṇa is not possible for the impure soul who has not practiced Kṛṣṇa consciousness in devotional service. To remember Kṛṣṇa one should chant the mahāmantra, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare, incessantly, following in the footsteps of Lord Caitanya, being more tolerant than the tree, humbler than the grass and offering all respect to others without requiring respect in return. In such a way one will be able to depart from the body successfully remembering Kṛṣṇa and so attain the supreme goal. (Prabhupada purport Bg As it is 8:5)
” Anyone, anywhere, can easily take to this Hare Kṛṣṇa movement; one need only chant the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra, observe the rules and regulations, and stay free from the contamination of sinful life. Even if one is sinful and cannot give up sinful life immediately, if he chants the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra with devotion and faith he will certainly be freed from all sinful activities, and his life will be successful. Paraṁ vijayate śrī-kṛṣṇa-saṅkīrtanam. This is the blessing of Lord Rāmacandra, who has appeared in this age of Kali as Lord Gaurasundara. “
The Pastimes of the Supreme Lord, Ramacandra : SB 9.10.51 : Srila Prabhupada’s PURPORT
The following is a wonderful article written by Govinda Dasi and published in Dandavats in 2016. It was recently posted on Facebook. I thought this was an especially good time for presenting this once again.
Back in New York, in early 1967, Srila Prabhupada often sat in his room and slowly turned the world globe, studying the geographic demarcations of various countries on the Earth planet. He would sometimes say, “Brahmananda, you will go to Russia, Goursundar, you go to Japan, Rayarama, you will go to Europe…” and so on. Even though he had merely a handful of sincere American youths, most of them in their late teens or early twenties, he had big plans. Clearly, he wanted to open preaching centers in every country on Earth. His vision was huge–he planned to spread the Hare Krishna movement all over the world! But he was especially concerned about Russia.
Russia, at that time, was the very heartbeat of the communist/atheist world. The message of atheism, the no-God philosophy that is the destroyer of religiosity, had established itself aggressively in Russia. It had also consumed many other surrounding countries, forcing atheistic education on their children, and punishing those who were Godly. Russia, during the 1960’s, was very aggressively moving toward world domination. At least that was their ambition.
The specific word “henceforward” has only one meaning, viz. “from now onwards” or “from this time forward”. This is both according to Srila Prabhupada’s own previous usage of the word and the meaning ascribed to it by the English Language. Unlike other words, the word henceforward is unambiguous since it only possesses one dictionary definition.
The following is an article, I have wanted to include for some time now, which was written by Krsnacandra Prabhu and posted on his page Prabhupadavision,com. In light of our recent post entitled Sri Madhu Pandit’s Official Reply to the EC we feel it is timely, and of utmost importance to our society that we understand the issues. Although our page is not intended as a political forum, it is a tool in the mission of our spiritual master, for the propagation of The Hare Krishna Movement or Krishna Consciousness.
Now that Śrīla Prabhupāda has named these representatives Temple Presidents may henceforward send recommendations for first and second initiation to whichever of these eleven representatives are nearest their Temple. After considering the recommendation, these representatives many accept the devotee as an initiated disciple of Śrīla Prabhupāda by giving a spiritual name, or in the case of a second initiation, by chanting on the Gāyatrī thread just as Śrīla Prabhupāda had done.
The name of a newly initiated disciple should be sent by the representative who has accepted him or her to Śrīla Prabhupāda, to be included in Divine Grace’s “Initiated Disciples” book. (from July 9th letter)
The Rtvik Representative Of The Acharya by Kṛṣṇacandra Dāsa – Vṛndāvan:
Shortly after His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Śrīla Prabhupāda entered into his Samādhi līlā in 1977; 11 of his senior disciples and members of the GBC who held the official position of representatives of His Divine Grace in 1st and 2nd spiritual initiations [as per July 9th Document], without authority and without an order by His Divine Grace announced themselves to be pure devotees of the Lord and forcibly seized the titles, roles and functions of acharyas and Initiating Spiritual Masters of ISKCON.
Several months prior to Śrīla Prabhupāda’s departure he signed a document to formalize the initiation process and granted some of his disciples to act on his behalf as representatives in the initiation process for his ISKCON society. This document is known as the July 9th Document.
Today, being Janmastami, we thought we should include a lecture given by Srila Prabhupada on Janmastami. The following lecture given on August 16, 1968, in Montreal Canada, is very sweet and reminiscent of how this society grew in a very personal and organic way. With Srila Prabhupada inviting his students and guests to speak on their realizations of Krsna, and Krsna Consciousness.
…So today is that auspicious day, Janmāṣṭamī, when Lord Kṛṣṇa appeared five thousand years ago in India, Mathurā. Those who are Indian ladies and gentlemen present, they know very well where is Mathurā. It is about ninety miles south of New Delhi. Mathurā is still existing and it is eternally existing. Kṛṣṇa appeared in Mathurā in His maternal uncle’s house in a very precarious condition. That birthplace, Lord Kṛṣṇa’s birthplace, is now maintained very nicely. One who goes to India, they see.
So anyway, Lord Kṛṣṇa appeared on this planet five thousand years ago. Now Kṛṣṇa says, janma karma me divyam [Bg. 4.9]. Divyam means “not ordinary.” It should not be understood just like we take our birth. Kṛṣṇa does not take his birth like us.
…So we shall invite today to speak about Kṛṣṇa from our students, as well as all the members who are present here. So I shall request Janārdana to speak something about his realization of Kṛṣṇa. (pause) All right. Let him speak.